New Man’s Mantle

This poem was inspired by my stepdad’s stories about Iraq. He’s been deployed there quite a number of times (three I believe) and there are mornings when I haven’t slept yet and I see him in the living room with an entire different array of thoughts haunting him and keeping him awake. The cherry blossom tree I reference came from my scented candle burner—it’s got a peppering of cherry blossoms over it, and well, for reasons beyond reason, it somehow made its way into my mind as I made the setting for this.

Cherry blossoms singing,

Oh, voices a’ringing,

In the dead of night,

Blooming out of sight,

I can’t find them,

Though I try,

As I sing my soldier’s lullaby,

They’re quite close—I can feel it,

Can hear their whispers’ summit,

I make a left, my mind lost,

But there’s only silence here,

And a tree before me, oh, so clear,

But the scent—now, that’s unmistakable,

And the red! Oh, that’s quite regrettable,

My stomach churns,

I turn again, my lips downturned,

My eyes bring rain over this rosy day,

And I’m losing my heart—as the voices say,

“This is a dead end,

Just like the smiles of my once merry band.”


4 thoughts on “New Man’s Mantle

  1. Powerful poem. I especially liked the rhyming here. It was subtle enough so it didn’t take away from the content of the poem, but it still provided a really nice flow.


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